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What do you mean? Gestures & other non-verbal cues…what do they mean?

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Presentation on theme: "What do you mean? Gestures & other non-verbal cues…what do they mean?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What do you mean? Gestures & other non-verbal cues…what do they mean?

2 What is non-verbal communication? “Good communication is the foundation of successful relationships, both personally and professionally. But we communicate with much more than words. In fact, research shows that the majority of our communication is nonverbal. Nonverbal communication, or body language, includes our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and even the tone of our voice. The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication is a powerful tool that will help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships at home and work.” From:

3 So what does this mean to me? According to A. Barbour, author of Louder Than Words: Nonverbal Communication, the total impact of a message breaks down like this: 7 percent verbal (words) 38 percent vocal (volume, pitch, rhythm, etc) 55 percent body movements (mostly facial expressions)

4 What are some types of non-verbal communication? Facial expressions Body movement and posture Gestures Eye contact Touch Space Voice

5 Facial expressions While some say that facial expressions are identical, meaning attached to them differs. Majority opinion is that these do have similar meanings world-wide with respect to smiling, crying, or showing anger, sorrow, or disgust. However, the intensity varies from culture to culture. Note the following: Many Asian cultures suppress facial expression as much as possible. Many Mediterranean (Latino / Arabic) cultures exaggerate grief or sadness while most American men hide grief or sorrow. Some see “animated” expressions as a sign of a lack of control. Too much smiling is viewed in as a sign of shallowness. Women smile more than men.

6 Posture Your posture also plays a role in your communication efforts. A slumped posture indicates that you have low spirits, are fatigued or that you feel inferior. Whereas, an erect posture shows high spirits and confidence. If you lean forward it implies that you are open and interested. Leaning away shows disinterest or that you are defensive. Maintaining a rigid posture is interpreted by many to mean that you are defensive, while a relaxed posture translates to openness. Crossed arms and legs indicated a defensive, proactive position, while uncrossed arms and legs indicates a willingness to listen. Consider the following actions and note cultural differences: Bowing (not done, criticized, or affected in US; shows rank in Japan) Slouching (rude in most Northern European areas) Hands in pocket (disrespectful in Turkey) Sitting with legs crossed (offensive in Ghana, Turkey) Showing soles of feet. (Offensive in Thailand, Saudi Arabia)

7 Types of gestures Impossible to catalog them all. But you need to recognize: 1)incredible possibility and variety 2) that an acceptable in one’s own culture may be offensive in another. In addition, amount of gesturing varies from culture to culture. Some cultures are animated; other restrained. Restrained cultures often feel animated cultures lack manners and overall restraint while animated cultures often feel restrained cultures lack emotion or interest. Even simple things like using hands to point and count differ: Pointing : US with index finger Germany with little finger Japanese with entire hand (in fact most Asians consider pointing with index finger to be rude) Counting: Thumb = 1 in Germany, 5 in Japan, middle finger for 1 in Indonesia.

8 Hook ‘em Horns Hook 'em Horns is the slogan and hand signal of The University of Texas at Austin. Students and alumni of the university employ a greeting consisting of the phrase "Hook 'em" or "Hook 'em Horns" and also use the phrase as a parting good-bye or as the closing line in a letter or story. The gesture is meant to approximate the shape of the head and horns of the university mascot, the Texas longhorn steer Bevo. A variant of the Horns, formed upside down, is often used by rivals of the Longhorns and is considered insulting, especially when performed by a player or coach of the team in question.

9 Thumbs Up A thumbs up or thumbs down is a common gesture represented by a closed fist held with the thumb extended upward or downward in approval or disapproval respectively. These gestures have become metaphors in English: "My boss gave my proposal the thumbs-up" means that the boss approved the proposal, regardless of whether the gesture was made. A supposed Medieval source for the thumbs up gesture comes from the Longbow men of the time - who were greatly feared as the "Artillery" of their time. Whenever captured it was common to amputate the thumbs of bowmen to prevent them from using their bows again (the thumb was used to press the arrow against the other fingers when it was being drawn). Therefore when asked if they were alright, bowmen would lift their thumbs to prove they were still intact and capable of firing their bows. In Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, and Thailand it is traditionally an obscene gesture, equivalent to the use of the middle finger in the Western world. In Italy, in the right context, it can simply indicate the number one. Generally it is perceived as "OK".

10 Touchdown Touchdown, Field Goal Good, or Extra Point Good: Arms raised straight above head. A touchdown results in 6 points, a field goal three. After a touchdown, the team gets the opportunity to kick an extra point worth 1 point.

11 American Sign Language There is much more to learning American Sign Language than just memorizing signs. ASL has its own grammar, culture, history, terminology and other important aspects. It takes time and effort to become a "skilled language user.“ In Sign Language, facial expression including the raising or lowering of the eyebrows while signing, and body language are integral parts of communicating. These actions help give meaning to what is being signed, much like vocal tones and inflections give meaning to spoken words. school Thank you 5q3nonver.html

12 Eye contact From the introduction to the farewell, appropriate eye contact varies greatly depending upon the country. In the United States, direct eye contact is considered a sign of honesty and reliability. Shifting one’s gaze away, or to the floor indicates a lack of attention, or worse, deceit. In Latin America, intense eye contact between men can be considered challenging and aggressive. Depending upon the situation, subordinates may not always look superiors in the eye for a protracted period of time. If a Hispanic looks away when being questioned, he or she is probably being respectful, rather than hiding something. Extended eye contact between the sexes—in a purely business setting—is common in the United States, but can be interpreted as an overture for more intimate communications in many Latin and Mediterranean countries.

13 Touch Why do we touch, where do we touch, and what meanings do we assign when someone else touches us? Illustration: A man goes into a convenience store recently taken over by new Korean immigrants. He gives a $20 bill for his purchase to Mrs. Cho who is cashier and waits for his change. He is upset when his change is put down on the counter in front of him. What is the problem? Traditional Korean (and many other Asian countries) don’t touch strangers., especially between members of the opposite sex. Touch is culturally determined! But each culture has a clear concept of what parts of the body one may not touch. Basic message of touch is to affect or control — protect, support, disapprove (i.e. hug, kiss, hit, kick).

14 More on touch USA : handshake is common (even for strangers), hugs, kisses for those of opposite gender or of family (usually) on an increasingly more intimate basis. Islamic and Hindu: typically don’t touch with the left hand. To do so is a social insult. Left hand is for toilet functions. It is mannerly in India to break your bread only with your right hand (sometimes difficult for non-Indians) Islamic cultures generally don’t approve of any touching between genders (even hand shakes). But consider such touching (including hand holding, hugs) between same-sex to be appropriate. Many Asians don’t touch the head (They believe the head houses the soul and a touch puts it in jeopardy). Basic patterns: Cultures (English, German, Scandinavian, Chinese, Japanese) with high emotional restraint concepts have little public touch Those which encourage emotion (Latino, Middle-East, Jewish) accept frequent touches.

15 Personal space For most North Americans, a distance of approximately 19 inches, or just about arm's length, between two speakers is considered appropriate. For Western Europeans and Americans, a space of 14 to 16 inches is considered non-intrusive. But those from the U.K. might consider a distance of 24 inches to be more comfortable. Business owners and corporate executives in Korean and China generally prefer at least that much room, if not more. And their business partners in Japan have a somewhat wider required personal space - in the 36 inches range. Lastly, for those in Middle Eastern countries, where a narrower distance of between 8 to 12 inches between speakers is common, widening the distance could be perceived as mistrustful behavior.

16 Voice Vocal characterizers (laugh, cry, yell, moan, whine, belch, yawn) send different messages in different cultures Japan — giggling indicates embarrassment India – belch indicates satisfaction Vocal qualifiers (volume, pitch, rhythm, tempo, and tone). Loudness indicates strength in Arabic cultures and softness indicates weakness; indicates confidence and authority to the Germans; indicates impoliteness to the Thais; indicates loss of control to the Japanese. Generally, one learns not to “shout” in Asia for nearly any reason! Paralinguistics refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language. This includes factors such as tone of voice, loudness, inflection, and pitch. Consider the powerful effect that tone of voice can have on the meaning of a sentence. When said in a strong tone of voice, listeners might interpret approval and enthusiasm. The same words said in a hesitant tone of voice might convey disapproval and a lack of interest.

17 Sources s.htm s.htm


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